Huntington Ingalls Starts Work On Major Newport News Expansion
- Jun 23, 2015
By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
On Monday, June 22, Huntington Ingalls Industries, the nation’s largest military shipbuilding company, celebrated the groundbreaking of its Joint Manufacturing Assembly Facility (JMAF) in Newport News, Va. This new facility will support the construction of nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines.
The JMAF will be located near 68th St. and Huntington Ave. and will be developed in phases. Once complete, the 250,000-square-foot facility will have will feature multiple worksites, advanced technology, automated equipment, heavyweight cranes, large transportation doors and specialty paint bays.
Huntington Ingalls Industries—the sole designer and builder of aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy—expects to open the first phase of the project in 2017. It will include production bays to improve construction efficiencies for the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers and Virginia-class submarines.
So far, the project is still in the design phase. Its cost was not disclosed and a builder has not yet been hired. However, according to the Daily Press, the project has the endorsement of the U.S. Navy. The newspaper reported that the $3.35 billion contract for construction of the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), the second Gerald R. Ford-class carrier, also included financial incentives for the shipyard to invest in its facilities.
“We aren’t just breaking ground on a new facility, we’re breaking the mold on how we build aircraft carriers and submarines,” Matt Mulherin, president of the HII division Newport News Shipbuilding, said in a statement for the press. He went on to explain that the JMAF will bring work indoors, to protect shipbuilders from the elements, increase productivity and efficiency, and drive down the overall costs.
“This facility will allow us to retain significant high-paying jobs in Newport News in the future and will allow future generations to know that the greatest ships the world has ever known were built right here in Newport News,” Newport News Vice Mayor Robert Coleman added.
Rendering courtesy of www.huntingtoningalls.com.